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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 11, 2014 8:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tuning and knoodling

Didn't the tuning breaks get shorter as time went on ? Was the evolution of equipment, and more "techs" part of this ? In,say, 78 , those tuning breaks could really be interminable . Part of this I think is their wanting "everything to be exactly right", while they themselves had no natural ability toward perfectionism . They wanted to be "professional" , God knows they tried, but they just were not . I think it was always a struggle . "Never mind I stumble and fall" indeed . But their very human side, and lack of any real showbiz instinct was endearing . How many times did they come on stage and not launch with a big exciting bang , but dawdling around tuning adjusting, looking about ,spending the excitement that most other band would not want to waste . There were attempts at "entertainment" values, but at times it was more like you got to , as unclejohn52 says , "share time in their living room" with them .
As Phil once characterized the band, "lame but noble" .

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Poster: clashcity Date: Jun 11, 2014 9:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tuning and knoodling

I think I heard the term - professional amateurs - used to describe the band at one point.

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Poster: Reade Date: Jun 11, 2014 9:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tuning and knoodling

"But their very human side, and lack of any real showbiz instinct was endearing."

Very well put DD.
I remember being blown away in high school (glam-rock, makeup and one-piece jumpsuits were king at the time) the way these guys would come out in jeans and T Shirts. I'm not sure younger fans today properly understand just how against-the-grain these guys were at the time (early seventies) in terms of rock acts.
Yes Jerry was neurotic about tuning- but the more or less complete acceptance of it by the fanbase I always thought was part of what made the whole scene special. Traditional show business values and formulas were just completely out the window here. Same with the whole Phil-singing-thing. What was so endearing was the band and their fan base were each just so freaking bent that there were very few rules. Which appealed mightily to my adolescent sensibilities. (Then and now (<;)

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 11, 2014 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tuning and knoodling

Bob tried to interject some ... well I guess he though it was showbiz style into the shows . I believe somewhere in the Taper's Compendium 2, this was described as "Bob the happy cheese man" . His attempts are so corny that THEY are sort of endearing . I recall a quote form an article posted here a while ago, describing their appeal , "Jerry was so uncool, he was cool" .
I had a non-Dead fan friend form Tower, and she had been taken to see one of the JGB shows . She was not impressed . "He just sat there like a big lump" .
I could have said a lot of things about it being music, the show is yourself, look and a lll the crazy people around you , you wanted him to be like Kiss?... but some people expect a "show", and some a concert .

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Poster: Reade Date: Jun 11, 2014 11:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tuning and knoodling

The Dead passed through town my junior year in high school and the music reviewer for the school paper- a senior - attended. He was a big man on campus- he had a girl friend and everything. He boned them really bad in his review and the line I remember verbatim: "They just stood there!" This was the era of David Bowie and Alice Cooper and Rock as Theatre and all that other shit.
I thought hell, that's what I actually like about those guys! They were serving the music in a kind of blue collar fashion- keeping front and center what was important, and what was not. THAT to me was the epitome of professionalism- having your priorities in order. So what if they were weirdos about tuning or weren't the greatest singers?

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jun 11, 2014 6:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tuning and knoodling

Did they? I swear, listening to the music in its taped/digital form has distorted things for me. What I remember involves, as you say, lots of interminable breaks wherein the band stands there, tunes, members vanish, they tune some more. On tape it all runs together, though. Somehow what I recall as long, long minutes of nothing don't end up captured and then I wonder if I'm right.

Basically I remember lots of waiting when I saw them fairly often (late 70s/early 80s), and then when I saw them in the early '90s after a gap, that's not part of what I remember. Which doesn't mean much; memory can be wrong, things stick or don't stick, whatever. But DID it change?

Anyway ............. I now tend to think, like UJ, that from the band's perspective it was partly that they did a ton of shows and were basically just there playing all evening, and we the fans were "in their living room" ... they started out living-room style with the acid tests and they always had a big element of "family" around, I guess, so it was partly a show and partly a jam session or just some guys playing, and it just stayed that way. Maybe a coping strategy for them, in part. Less pressure to be perfect; a way to stay humble and not be "rock stars;" a way to keep having your smoke breaks and beers; all of the above.

From the fans' perspective -- well, as others have said, it was a point of pride for me that MY band didn't jump around in skin-tight leopard suits or come out pumping their fists in the air a la Spinal Tap and go "Hello Fill-in-the-Blank!" MY band just stood there. A lot. When they played, and when they didn't. And there was a lot of "didn't," and I swear THAT was a point of pride, too. Probably if Jerry had worn a flower pot on his head, that would have been a point of pride. Whatever they did was going to be taken as proof that THIS band is different and thus better :-)


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Poster: Mooding Date: Jun 16, 2014 12:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tuning and knoodling

re: "Did they? I swear, listening to the music in its taped/digital form has distorted things for me. What I remember involves, as you say, lots of interminable breaks wherein the band stands there, tunes, members vanish, they tune some more. On tape it all runs together, though. Somehow what I recall as long, long minutes of nothing don't end up captured and then I wonder if I'm right."

You are right. It seems to me that LOTS of the between song time has been eliminated, my guess is that this occurred when digitization happened. I recall listening to plenty of cassettes (they're all still upstairs in the closet) with seemingly interminable (minutes!) between songs. I miss that.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jun 16, 2014 2:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tuning and knoodling

Plus presumably tapers pressed "stop." I doubt many would just let their tapes roll during the, er, Dead time. So that cut it drastically, and then the minutes when the tape was rolling but nothing really happened -- noodle, pause, noodle, oh look they're going to start!, pause, I guess not, noodle noodle -- got cut with digitization.

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